by David Cecelski
Every evening this week, my children and I have picked wild blackberries by the creek in our city park. We have filled buckets with the sweet, sweet berries. They taste so summery and good, and are so fresh, that at first we just ate handfuls of them as we stood in the brambles. When we finally got some home, we put them on cereal and ate them in yoghurt. The other night, my daughter made a cobbler with them, and then we made jam.
We use a simple recipe for our wild blackberry jam: wash the berries and crush them with a potato masher. Put them in a pot and stir in ¾ to 2 cups of sugar, a little pectin (follow the package’s directions for the amount), and a half cup of fresh lemon juice for every four cups of mashed berries. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 or 20 minutes. Pour the jam into hot, sterilized Mason jars and seal.
Above is a photograph of our cat Biscuit inspecting the blackberry jam. She’s not supposed to be on the counter. She and her sister, Sweet Tea, are very fond of my garden right now. They doze mornings among the cantaloupes and watermelons and they play hide-and-seek in between the tall rows of sunflowers, pole beans, and sweet corn. Around dusk, I often sit in the garden with them. I like to watch the fireflies flit about the garden and they like to hunt them down and eat them.
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